Last year I took 5 days of unpaid leave in the form of every other Friday off for 4 months (it was supposed to be 7 but HR messed it up and I had to take annual leave instead).
I was told I could only do this for a few months, otherwise it would have to be a change in my contract, and I didn’t want that. But I do want some more time off. More than annual leave can give me.
So in comes Unpaid Leave v2.0 – the Sabbatical.
I have raised the idea with my manger (after checking with HR that it is an option even though two other people in my department have taken them) and he was supportive, then quite jealous (he is the sole bread-winner in his family of wife, and two young-ish boys) and then tried to convince me that I would get bored within a week!
Initially I mentioned 3 months, but now I have both Adam (the partner) and a colleague suggesting I take 4 months, because why not!? I may not have another chance at this. (Another colleague is also trying to convince me I should travel the Philippines for a month, while also wishing it wasn’t happening as she is scared she will have to pick up the slack, which she probably will.)
No dates are booked yet, but my manager keep asking me for them. I was thinking May+, but then you already get two days off in May so would lose those! But what are they really in the grand scheme of 3/4 months?
I haven’t mentioned it to my parents yet, but I want to as I want to see if I can book some time in with them during it to take a holiday and help them out with some household-type things (paint my Dad’s garage door and bedroom wall, help my Mum make up a wardrobe and sort through some old things etc.). Though I am sure I could find time in 3/4 months to do those things without looking at dates now.
Adam would not be joining me on this, no matter how much I ask – he would be too indispensable at work (he really would: him asking for that amount of time off would be the equivalent of him resigning in their eyes). It would all be so much better with him, but if I am to be alone during that time then I will make the most of it, for I have plans!
They include, but are not limited to:
- Holiday with parents (separately)
- Decorating a lot of the house
- Holiday with Adam
- Helping out parents with house-hold things (as above)
- Getting fitter (hopefully causing some weight loss too)
- Learning a new/old skill (maybe getting back on the sewing machine/reminding myself of some Spanish)
- Learning to cook (hopefully causing some weight loss too)
- Anything else I fancy!
I know I need to plan this well, so that I don’t come to the end of it and feel I have wasted my time, but I am a planner, so that should not a problem.
I am worried about the lack of money though – I have enough in savings to cover my half of all the bills, but to lose quite a few £k over that time will be a loss to the house-pot, but then sanity is also important I guess!
Part of me thinks I should just resign and then I can take all the time I like, and then I can work whenever I like (I won’t be allowed to work while still employed where I am), but I think the pressure/back-of-the-mind worry of not finding another job would probably ruin the whole thing for me, and negate the point, so maybe not.
Basically, it is going to happen, I just need to make some decisions and get it sorted.